JJ Reads

Memo Pad: April Book Wrap Up

This has been my worst reading month in a very long time. I only managed to complete three books, two of which were novellas. I did however beta read a book for a writer friend of mine that I can’t really add to my tally. So it’s not quite as bad as it feels.

Most of my time this month had been taken up by editing my novel, and will probably continue to take up a lot of time next month, but I’m hopeful that as I’ve now finished this section of editing, I’ll be able to read a bit more.

I’ve also only bought four books over the last two months which is REALLY good for me! They were Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Thornfruit by Felicia Davin, Everless by Sara Holland and Cinder by Marissa Meyer. haul

Although I did accidentally add quite a few arcs to my kindle through review requests and netgalley (my finger slipped, okay?). I’m really trying not to as I currently have enough to last me a few months now but sometimes things just sound too good to miss,

mp april2018

Read: 3                    DNF:1

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Lost Boy, Found Boy by Jenn Polish *****

This is a futuristic Sci fi retelling of Peter Pan with a fully queer cast. That is beautifully written. (and also, speaking of beautiful, that cover is gorgeous! This is definitely my fav cover of the year if not last year as well) I seriously loved the AI/computer code extracts from an electronic Tinkerbell trying to make Peter happy, they reminded me of Aiden from illuminae, and the world we’re thrown into, even before we get to Neverland, hooked (I couldn’t resist that pun) me from the start. Peter is a trans boy who creates a virtual reality to save his enbyfriend who had agreed to fight in a war that will kill him just because he wants to fly.

This is a novella so first off don’t go in expecting a whole lot of plot, saying that, there was enough for me and I don’t normally get along with novellas for this reason. It didn’t feel rushed to me although I obviously would have loved more simply because I loved it. Peter Pan is one of my favourite books and the nods to aspects of the story in this were so well done and every time one happened I squealed a bit, they were so well woven into the plot. If you love Peter Pan read it, if you like queer retellings or just love beautifully written, adorable and heart felt novellas…. Just read it?

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The Witch Stone by Jasmine Hong *****

This was a very quick and enjoyable read. I loved the main characters magic which uses wards. His house is covered in them but I was sad we didn’t see more of it, they were really important at the start but then weren’t used again for the rest of the novella. I assume they become more important and we’ll get more in later novellas as this is the first in a series but it would have been nice to have them affect the story more.

Calvin is an unimportant nobody from a very powerful magical family, one of a handful that live in his city, they answer only to the court. But when his ex shows up at his door telling Calvin the court is dead. The two men have to work together to save the city.

It’s important to note that this is not a romance and it isn’t explicit at all which is such a refreshing change to a lot of books I’ve read with Gay main characters. Mainly because I prefer my books romanceless! I found the hierarchy and magic very confusing to start with, we’re thrown in the deep end and I glossed over it a bit rather than stop to try to figure it out but not understanding it fully didn’t stop me from enjoying and we’re filled in with more info as we go along. Unlike other novellas the book isn’t short on plot, we have magic, demons, court politics, old warring families, old gods and cheating ex-boyfriends but some of the tasks felt a bit like non events at times, Calvin got through them a bit too easily. They could have been expanded and made them more difficult and it would have made for a great novel length story with plenty of time to get across the world building and family politics and to expand on the characters more. It was a very diverse story with plenty of queer and POC characters but I can’t speak to how good the rep is. There is trans rep in this as Calvin’s younger cousin is trans, she was my favourite character but I do wish there was more of her in the novella. Overall, an interesting story, that was an exciting and quick read with lots of potential for the rest of the series.

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The Fifth Era of Man by Joshua Banker *****

This was a very enjoyable fantasy with an intriguing and well thought out concept. Prae is woken from thousands of years of stasis when an archaeological dig stumbles upon her hidden pod. When she rises she finds out that the civilisation that was there when she last roamed had been completely wiped out and, along with an eclectic mix of friends, she is determined to find out why. My only gripe with this is that I found pretty much all the characters unlikeable until about half way. They were very stubborn, set in their ways, and at times this came across a bit too harshly when their personalities clashed but once they warmed up to each other and we got to know past their outward actions, the second half of the book had me really routing for them all. They definitely all grow as characters and end up complimenting each other. There’s lots of description but I never felt any of it was unnecessary or that it slowed down the pacing. Instead the writing style helped create a very vivid and well built world that was wrapped up well.


 

DNF

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Lost Gods by Micah Yongo 

An epic fantasy in the vein of Raymond E Feist’s Riftwar saga. I’d recommend it for fans of those books. It just wasn’t for me as this is heavy on the world building, beautiful descriptions and long meandering backstories. I was expecting an exciting fantasy book about someone searching for the people who had betrayed him but instead Naythen is only a small part of a much larger story. (Also killing off the Deaf character especially before we even got to know him sucks.) The way the multi pov was used and the world building slowed the pacing down too much for me. It is a well written book but not the type of story I was expecting. I ended up DNFing at 35% (This is also a gorgeous cover though)


 

Currently Reading:

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Full Circle by Regina Timothy

Eight years after the 9/11 attacks, Samia-Al-Sayyid an Iraqi immigrant is living a quiet life in New York City after she fled her home to avoid imminent death. She works hard for her cold, heartless, high-strung boss, loves her seventeen-years-old-son, and cherishes the close friendship she has formed with her best friend Susan.

Nothing can go wrong, or so she thinks – until the estranged brother she left back in Iraqi shows up on her door step. Then she finds herself in a cab, on her way to the hospital to identify her son, a terror suspect who has blown the city, and with it her boss’ husband, and her best friend’s son. With everything lost, she is forced to flee to Iraq where she confronts her past. 

Full Circle is a contemporary fiction tale of friendship, family, and hope. It explores the devastation of loss, the great capacity to forgive and the lengths our loved ones will go to protect us.


 

How was your reading month? What was your favourite book and what are you reading right now? Have you read any of these and what did you think?

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6 thoughts on “Memo Pad: April Book Wrap Up”

  1. It’s a shame Lost Gods didn’t live up your expectations, I had high hopes for it cause it sounds so interesting. But you’re not the first person I’ve seen who’s DNF’d it – so I’ll probably give that one a pass. The Witch Stone sounds really good though!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ohh the cover of thorn fruit is so very pretty !!

    also the witch stone sounds good but alas, if YOU got lost in it; holy am I gonna be to xD I don’t think I have the brain capacity for that one yet, hah!

    I have read three books last month too; and finally am reading that “open read” I got off NetGalley, “the art of french kissing” — which I actually like as of right now !

    Like

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